part of Detention and Training Orders, (DTOs) was announced today by
home office minister Beverley Hughes.
offenders who have successfully completed the custodial part of their
sentence. This will enable Youth Offending Teams to monitor teenagers
whilst they fulfil individually tailored packages of reparation,
training and education measures. Those released and tagged in this
way will be eligible for release between 1-2 months before the
current release date at the half-way point. Those convicted of
sexual or series violent offences will not be eligible for release
under this new scheme.
Beverley Hughes said:
'Fitting electronic tags to juvenile offenders will toughen up the
community part of their sentence, ensuring that those young people
released under the scheme stick to the conditions of their release.
We are committed to ensuring community sentences are tough and
rigorous and have the full confidence and support of local residents.
'By strengthening DTOs in this way, we have made it possible to
increase the number of young people eligible for release, with some
youths, in certain circumstances, able to leave secure accommodation
up to 2 months before the half way point of their sentence.
'This will provide a useful and properly managed transitional phase
in the reintegration of trainees from custody back into the
community. It will also ease pressure on the juvenile estate and
ensure that those young people who remain in custody receive a full
and demanding regime.'
From Wednesday, all juveniles who have completed the custodial part
of their DTO will be eligible for automatic release 1 month (for
those sentenced to a DTO of 8, 10 or 12 months), or either 1 or 2
months (for those sentenced to a DTO of 18 or 24 months), before the
half way point of their sentence except for:
juveniles convicted of serious violent offences or sex offences;
juveniles who have exhibited violent or destructive behaviour or made
exceptionally bad progress whilst on the custodial part of their
Ms Hughes said:
'The aim of DTOs is to provide a clear focus on planned and
constructive use of time spent in custody followed by a period of
effective supervision and support in the community.
'By providing an option of a longer, more tightly monitored community
part of the sentence, we are able to increase youngsters' access to
education and family sooner, giving them a better chance of shedding
their past criminality and becoming a successful member of their
'However, this is no soft option. Young offenders will continue on a
tough programme of reparation, curfews and training to help steer
them on a path away from offending.'
1. The DTO is the main custodial sentence for juveniles aged 12 to
17. It can last from a minimum of four months to a maximum of two years,
with half the order spent in custody and the other half spent under
supervision in the community.
2. A court can impose a DTO only:
- where a child or young person has committed an offence which
would be punishable with imprisonment in the case of someone aged
21 or over;
- where the court is satisfied that only a custodial sentence is
adequate to reflect the seriousness of the offence or, where the
offence is violent or sexual, to protect the public from serious
harm from the offender;
- if the child or young person is aged 12 and under 15 at the time
of conviction, if the court is of the opinion that he or she is a
3. The term of a DTO may be for 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 18 or 24
months. To date, release has normally occurred at the
halfway point but in the case of the longer orders the
secretary of state may:
- release a trainee one month before the half way point if they
have been sentenced to a DTO of 8, 10 or 12 months
- release a trainee one or two months before the half way point if
they have been sentenced to a DTO of 18 or 24 months
4. Juveniles convicted of serious violent offences or sex offences
will not be deemed eligible for release under this scheme.
5. The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2000 provides for the
electronic monitoring of prisoners released on licence. This
includes young people during the community element of a detention and